Pablo Tour: Visiting Colombia for Narco-Tourism

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what about if life gives you the bullet-ridden estate of cocaine king Pablo Escobar? Here's what the city of Medellin, Colombia, decided to do: a macabre narco-tourism called "Pablo tours."

Pablo’s old country estate, the Hacienca Los Napoles, where he kept his collection of exotic animals, threw wild parties, and drowned enemies in the pool, is now a theme park with rides and the trafficker’s giant dinosaur models. The main attraction of the national police museum in Bogota is a reverential display of Escobar’s possessions: his custom-built Harley Davidson, gold-plated pistols, and desk with hidden compartments. The Escobar family home in Medellin is slowly being turned into a museum complete with Pablo memorabilia, and exotic animals from his private collection are on display in the city zoo.

Medellin, once the world’s most dangerous city, has become a poster child for urban regeneration. Instead of trying to hide from its notorious past, the city is turning its notoriety into profits by trading on the dark old days.

“Medellin has moved on,” says Jamie Gerig, who runs the meet-the-Escobars tour. “It’s now a beautiful, safe city, but we can’t ignore what happened.”

Hannah Stone of Prospect Magazine has the story: Link


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